2013 – It was a very good year…

2013. What a bloody brilliant year it has been. I could ramble on for ages but instead I’m just going to give you a few bullet pointed highlights, because who doesn’t like bullet points? In fact after four months out of the classroom I’m itching to make a PowerPoint presentation but for now, bullet points will have to do!

  • At the start of 2013 I was just three months pregnant. We had our 12 week scan in the first week of January and started to let everyone know. It was lovely how pleased for us everyone was.
  • The start of January also saw the end of morning sickness and I started to enjoy being pregnant. For the first time in years I was happy to wear clothes that hugged my figure and I took the opportunity to eat what I fancied without feeling guilty about it. (In hindsight this wasn’t such a great idea but I bloody enjoyed it at the time!)
  • At our 20 week scan in March we found out we were expecting a boy – and then we managed to keep it secret from most people for the rest of the pregnancy.
  • At Easter I went on a one week Spanish immersion course in Malaga which was entirely paid for my EU funding. It was a lot of fun and it was a great help for my Spanish too.
  • I came home from Spain just in time to celebrate my first wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband.
  • The summer term at school was hard work as I got more and more pregnant and tried to work out how to teach while sitting down. Teenagers, it turns out, don’t really have a lot of sympathy for tired pregnant teachers.

Pregnancy bump

  • I made it to the end of term though and started maternity leave at 37 weeks pregnant, 19 days before Toby was due.
  • And then a week and a half later the Chief made his appearance after an uneventful and speedy labour. As far as births go I think I had it pretty easy!
  • The next couple of months passed in a whirlwind of crying babies (and parents on occasion), sleepless nights and dirty nappies. Shell-shocked pretty much covers it.

Newborn sleeping baby

  • By about October I actually started to really enjoy having a baby and life settled into something of a routine. This probably coincided with Toby starting to smile and laugh and generally be a lot more fun to look after.
  • The last few months of the year have been amazing. Toby seems to do something new every day and as we head into 2014 we are starting a whole new phase including baby-led weaning. We’ve given Toby a few bits of food to play with but nothing has made it as far as his mouth yet. I don’t think it’ll be long though. I can’t wait to see what the next few months brings – I predict we’ll be seeing teeth, sitting unaided, moving (one way or another) and hopefully a return to sleeping through the night (I don’t want to jinx it but he’s managed over 12 hours undisturbed sleep the last three nights!).
  • And of course I can’t forget that the last three months of 2013 saw the start of this blog. I’m having a lot of fun writing it and I’d like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and comment. A big thank you too to all my new Twitter pals – I know I’ve not been at this long but I already feel like part of a community and I’m looking forward to getting to know more people (and maybe even meeting a few) in 2014.

And there you have it – my 2013 in a nutshell. I’ve had an absolutely amazing year and I’m so lucky to have shared it with my wonderful husband. It’s hard to believe I hadn’t even met him this time three years ago! He was an amazing support throughout my pregnancy – always there to rub my back or pull me up off the sofa. And since Toby was born he has shown me that he is just the best daddy ever. It melts my heart to see him and Toby  together, they love each other so much!

Happy dad and baby

I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for our little family. I’ve got a few plans of my own too but that’s for another blog post. So for now I will wish you all health and happiness for the New Year. And seeing as I am in Scotland after all – Happy Hogmanay.

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The Ordinary Moments #7

I’m linking up with Katie at Mummy Daddy Me again this week for some more ‘Ordinary Moments’, or rather this week some ‘un-ordinary’ moments.

Grandma and Toby

Both sets of Toby’s grandparents live about 250 miles away, which means they don’t get to see him very often. I update Blipfoto with a picture every day and we do try and Skype but that doesn’t happen as often as we’d like for one reason or another. Last time we saw either lot of parents was in September, and as we decided to spend our first Christmas with Toby at home, my mum and dad came up to visit this weekend. It was lovely to see Toby playing with his grandma and grandad and even though he mustn’t remember them from last time he saw them he still gave them lots of big smiles and was happy for them to hold him. We’re actually going to see them again in a few days – we’re going to stay with them on Boxing Day because my brother and sister-in-law will be there and then we’re heading across to Manchester to see the hubby’s parents too.

I hope Toby starts to recognise his grandparents soon and gets to see plenty of them as he’s growing up – it should be easier in the few years time as our five year plan is to move back to the north-west, and then these ‘un-ordinary’ moments will hopefully become more ordinary.

Daddy, Toby and the Grandparents

mummy daddy me

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Knitting Friday #4

Alright, before you say anything, I know it’s Saturday – but it is Christmas so I think you can forgive me!

So last week I posted pictures of the (almost) finished elf hat. And this week I actually finished it. I’ve added the pompom to the top and sewn in an inner fleece hat which serves the dual purpose of making it warmer and also keeping it on. I didn’t use any sort of pattern for the fleece, just cut a piece out and then shaped it by using pins worryingly close to Toby’s head!

Fleece lined hat

I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out in the end though – and I’m sure you’ll agree my little elf looks very cute in his new hat.

Christmas elf hat

Becky over at The Laughing Owls has a Knitting Friday post too – Christmas Shopping has got in the way of her knitting a bit this week but she’s getting there with Little Owl’s jumper!

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All I want for Christmas…

Pre-teething Toby

…is my happy, smiley, sleeping-through-the-night baby back. (Or his two front teeth!)

It would seem Toby is teething and already I hate it. I know this is only the beginning, that once these teeth appear there will only be more to come. It’s just so horrible to watch him in pain and especially as these are the first teeth he has no idea what is happening to him. There has been a lot of dribbling and hand chewing for a while now but at the weekend the inconsolable crying started. And bless the little bear, he was trying to smile but then would just dissolve into tears again. We’ve given him Calpol and Nurofen, and teething gel. We’ve got a few teethers but he doesn’t seem interested in them at all (although I know his Nana has bought him a Sophie la Girafe for Christmas so we’ll see if that’s any more successful). He does like to chew on a muslin though so I make sure he’s always got one nearby. The teething seems to be affecting his appetite as well – after half a bottle he is shaking his head and pushing it away. Which of course then means he is hungry and waking up for a feed in the night, or just waking up crying because he’s in pain. It doesn’t help that whenever I try and give him medicine (even firing it into the back of his mouth with a syringe) he spits half of it back out again. And while we’re on the subject – why does Calpol have to be so bloody sticky!!

So anyway, my conclusion is that teething sucks! I just hope this first tooth (or teeth) shows itself soon and then we have a bit of a break before the next ones show up. If anyone has any miracle cures then please do share them and spread the Christmas cheer our way.

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Christmas Tag

Baby elf
I was tagged by Lucinda at Teacher2Mummy in this festive blog question thingy and I haven’t written anything about Christmas yet so I thought this might be a nice way to start.
What is your favourite thing about Christmas?

It sounds really corny but I have to say giving presents. I love to see people’s faces when they open something I’ve chosen for them. Although I have to admit, with a small baby to look after, this year’s Christmas shopping hasn’t had so much time and attention put into it!

When you were a kid, what did you leave for Santa on Christmas Eve?
A mince pie and a whiskey (and a carrot for Rudolph!). My brother and I were still doing it when we were in our late teens and my dad would still gamely eat the mince pie and drink the whiskey – the carrot always ended up back in the with the others though.
Do you and/or your family have any Christmas traditions?

This Christmas will only be the third of my thirty-five Christmases that I haven’t been at my mum and dad’s house. (The first was when I did a ski season in 1999-2000 and the second in I think 2006 when I worked for in a bank call centre and had to work on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day but that year my parents came up to stay with me). We decided that seeing as it will be Toby’s first Christmas we would spend it at home just the three of us and then head down to see our parents on Boxing Day. It’s hard at Christmas living so far away from our family. We have to choose where to be – it’s not like we could have Christmas morning at home and then go to visit relatives later in the day. So I suppose we haven’t really got any  Christmas traditions yet but this year could be the year to start some of our own.

When decorating, do you go all out or just do a small amount of decorating?

We don’t have tons of decorations – we do have two trees though. One big tree with all the decorations and then a smaller fibre optic one which used to be my only tree when I lived in a flat on my own. We have to have artificial trees because I’m really allergic to real ones. We’ve got some fairy lights in the window too and we usually have some outside along the front of the house but with the crazy weather this year we haven’t bothered putting them up.

What is your favourite Christmas dinner food?

I don’t like Christmas Pudding so my mum always gets me some sort of chocolate pudding with chocolate sauce which is delicious. I actually like the sprouts now too – when I was little I hated sprouts but I was always made to eat just one with my Christmas dinner. I suppose that was one of our Christmas traditions!

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

 Die Hard! It is a Christmas movie!! I’m also partial to a bit of White Christmas.

What is your favourite Christmas song?

I was going to say All I Want For Christmas but I noticed loads of people have said that so I’m going to go with Let It Snow.

What was your favourite gift you’ve ever received?
That’s really hard but probably as an adult my iPhone 4 (which my dad got for free but I didn’t care!) and as a child I think the My Little Pony Grooming Parlour! I was so excited to get it because it wasn’t the sort of toy I was usually allowed.
What is your favourite memory?
I can’t really pick one – all my childhood Christmases are sort of rolled into one – but I used to love my brother sleeping in my room on Christmas Eve (because our Grandma would come to stay and sleep in his room) and when we woke up we were allowed to open the presents in our stockings which would be in our room but we weren’t allowed to go down stairs or wake anyone else up until a ‘reasonable time’. So about seven o’clock we would go the toilet really noisily which would usually wake our Grandma and mum up then we’d go downstairs in our pyjamas but then we would have to wait ages before we could open our presents because my dad always insisted on getting dressed and having his breakfast first and we would have to wait for him!
Does it snow where you live?
Yep. Although I don’t think it has snowed at Christmas since I’ve lived here. It never snowed in Blackpool when I was growing up though.
Do you own an “ugly holiday sweater”?
No. I’d quite like a tasteful Christmas jumper though.
Hot chocolate or eggnog?
Hot chocolate every time.
Have you ever been kissed under a mistletoe?

You know what, I don’t think I have!

I know I should now tag some other bloggers to do this post but it’s getting close to Christmas and I know everyone is very busy… so I’m not going to. However, if you read this and fancy answering the questions yourself then please feel free and do let me know when you’ve done it.

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